For lift-the-flap done right, skip this one and choose Lucy Cousins’ Maisy’s Big Flap Book (2001) or one of Karen Katz’s...

MAMA'S LITTLE DUCKLINGS

From the Play-Doh series

A chunky lift-the-flap board book about a little lost duckling reunited with its family.

Mama Duck has lost her littlest egg. The ladybugs haven’t seen it. Neither have the fish. The Easter Bunny, however, knows exactly where to look. After the family is reunited, they all go home for a good night’s rest. The text incorporates a lift-the-flap feature, but there does not seem to be much rhyme or reason behind this choice. Seemingly random parts of the text and illustrations are hidden under flaps, with the only rhetorically effective spread being the one featuring the flap that turns out to be hiding the little duck. The illustrations incorporate animals made of Play-Doh, lending them a distinct Claymation quality. They are very colorful but so busy as to appear crowded. Little ones might enjoy looking for the yellow eggshell containing the missing duckling on several of the pages if they are not too distracted by the unnecessary flaps.

For lift-the-flap done right, skip this one and choose Lucy Cousins’ Maisy’s Big Flap Book (2001) or one of Karen Katz’s delightful outings, such as Where Is Baby’s Yummy Tummy? (2011) or Where Is Baby’s Puppy? (2011). (Board book. 3-4)

Pub Date: March 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-60710-771-2

Page Count: 12

Publisher: Silver Dolphin

Review Posted Online: May 23, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2013

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More kit than story, with some assembly required.

PEPPA PIG AND THE PERFECT DAY

From the Peppa Pig series

Two outings and a game of hide-and-seek in between add up to a perfect day for Peppa and friends in this four-spread TV-series spinoff.

First Peppa and her bubble-gum–pink family ride to the park (“Vroom!” says little George) for a healthy picnic packed by Daddy Pig. Then it’s home for playtime with Danny Dog and Suzy Sheep, until Grandpa Pig arrives with a boat big enough for all (“Ship ahoy!”). Children can embellish this stripped-down plotline on the foldout playscape attached to the back cover. All of the figures in the flat, very simple illustrations also come as punch-outs on a loose sheet, and there are corresponding slots in the detachable pop-up car and boat. Fans of the British series, which runs on Nick Jr. in the United States, may experience several moments of pleasure before the card-stock vehicles are crushed.

More kit than story, with some assembly required. (sticker sheet) (Pop-up/picture book. 3-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 8, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-7636-6825-9

Page Count: 8

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 25, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2013

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Overdone, even for a tall tale.

WALRUS IN THE BATHTUB

A family of four’s new house is perfect save for one feature.

It has everything they need: a big yard, a tree with a sea gulls’ nest in it, and an enormous bathtub. But there’s one problem: In that huge bathtub, there’s a walrus. And he doesn’t want to leave. He makes bathtub tidal waves, he floods the house, and he uses all the toothpaste. The family members do their best to convince the walrus to leave, and little readers will get a few good chuckles out of the increasingly absurd tactics. The text is conveyed almost entirely in list form, with occasional snippets of dialogue and arrows pointing to various pictorial elements when necessary. The “WORST things about having a walrus in the bathtub: 1) Dial-a-Clam deliveries 2) Pool parties 3) Walrus songs” leads naturally to “Things that are louder than walrus songs: 1) Nothing”; underscoring this is the walrus’s not-so-tuneful “AAAAHHHROOOOOOOOOOOOHHHHH!!!” The illustrations are suitably kinetic, milking the absurdity of a walrus in a bathtub for all it’s worth, and they add a narrative subtext, depicting one child’s evident delight in the presence of the family’s unintended roommate. Unfortunately, compositions are so busy, chock-full of silliness plus additional characters such as the family’s dog and the walrus’s visiting friends, that it may be hard for little readers to focus on that relationship. The family members all have light skin and straight hair that’s either black or brown.

Overdone, even for a tall tale. (Picture book. 3-4)

Pub Date: July 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-8037-4101-0

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Dial Books

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2018

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